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So what about Avocados (toxic)

So what about Avocados (toxic)

Are you guys ready to ban avocados :)?. I've been a bit suss on them ever since I read years ago that they can make a bird drop dead. But I have native rats in my garden that seem to love to eat them and I don't find dead rats with failed hearts everywhere, I tend to eat at least 2 a day and it just seems a bit dodgy

The following thread was started by Jason on August 02, 2009 at 5:18 pm PST

Specific poisons

Chocolate and salmon are poisonous for dogs. Some birds eat berries we can't eat. I know nothing specific about avocados but I would be shocked if there were something because they've been part of Mayan civilization for millenia and ours for centuries.
John S

The above followup was added by John S on August 02, 2009 at 8:55 pm PST.

deadly !!!

Some of the info you got is partially true....the leaves of avocado trees are toxic to animals. I raised dairy goats (Nubians) for awhile. It was widely known with goat can NEVER allow your goats to forage around avo trees. A not so-well-kept secret...the flesh of an avocado is heavenly!

The above followup was added by ed of Somis on August 03, 2009 at 6:39 am PST.


Avocados contain the toxin persin. As John mentions, though, "toxic" is relative to a given species and its specific digestive system. Nonhuman animals should never be fed avocado at all, but humans seem entirely immune to any deleterious effects of persin. Some researchers believe that persin may be selectively toxic to breast cancer cells in humans, but more research is needed.

Birds are particularly susceptible to persin poisoning with drastic myocardial damage ensuing after ingesting only a few grams.

The above followup was added by Steve in Brookings on August 03, 2009 at 8:00 am PST.

Fruit not poisonous to dogs

One of my dogs can hear an avocado drop from just about anywhere on the property. Some days she eats so many she hardly touches her dog food. The only effect I've noticed on her is that her coat seems particularly glossy during avocado season!

The above followup was added by Stephanie, Santa Cruz CA on August 03, 2009 at 11:01 am PST.

Leaves not poisonous to deer

Now that I think about it, our avocados are all grazed up to deer height. Unfortunately, they do not seem to mind the toxins in the leaves at all.

The above followup was added by Stephanie, Santa Cruz CA on August 03, 2009 at 11:05 am PST.

Avocados toxic, depends on strain

From what I understand, the Mexican strain is the main culprit. the Guatemalan and West Indies are safer with much lower persin.

I heard a story once from a CRFG member, who knew some people from a tropical area, and they used Mexican Strain avocados leaves in a meal and got really sick or nearly died.

After the fact, they said where we live, leaves are regularly used in meals and to wrap other foods in, to cook them in.

Seems it came up in Julie Frinks Avocado class at a Festival of Fruits event around 3 to 4 years ago.

The problem seems to life with the Mexican strain, and that nice anise smell that they give off. If you can get a nice strong smell, don't eat the leaves, or allow animals too.

Does anyone else remember hearing what I have relayed.

Lots of plants, are fruit safe only to a greater or lesser degree. How many would eat tomato or potato leaves, or mango leaves.


The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on August 03, 2009 at 1:43 pm PST.

Avocados & dogs, birds( a word of caution)

Our dog loved avocados and ate the fallen fruit regularly. She developed pancreatitis and almost died. Two different vets attributed the attack to her high fat diet from avocados. She has been fenced off from avocado sources. Also, we have starlings regularly attack the softer bottom of Bacon avocados and the fruit then falls with the bottom eaten out. I would prefer that it was toxic to them, but they still persist. Then, the fallen fruit is now consumed by possums and racoons. I haven't noticed any decline in the population and daily can find new seeds on the ground, the remains of a great fruit. My super long picking pole cannot reach the tops of my avocado trees and that fruit ends up as food for the critters. Doesn't seem to hurt them.

The above followup was added by Jack, Nipomo on August 04, 2009 at 7:27 am PST.

Jack, Bacon is a Guatemalan X Mexican hybrid

Jack, Bacon is a Guatemalan X Mexican hybrid, and I think lower then some Mexican pure strains.

Seems that Kern and I have met people with Mexican type trees in their back yards, and their dogs are eating the fruits as well.

It does seem that dogs can eat a lot of things that would kill other things. By nature of the diet they originally had in nature, being somewhat scavengers. I can count the number of times when growing up, that our dogs would eat dead animals, even cats in various stages of decay or mummification, or even rotten human food, summer or winter. They must have strong livers and etc, and able to deal with the toxins and etc which exist in such foods.

Some birds are more known for be some or totally scavenger eaters too.


The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on August 04, 2009 at 9:19 am PST.


David, I'm going by the University of California classification of the Bacon as Mexican, however since it was a seedling grown in Buena Park by James Bacon its parentage could be mixed. My point on the danger to dogs was related to the fat content of the avocado, not a particular toxic quality. Pancreatitis is a serious problem with dogs fed table scraps and other high fat content foods. Death is the end result of many of these episodes. Dogs who experience one attack are more prone to further attacks. Some breeds are more likely to experience pancreatitis, but high fat foods can affect any breed. My posting was a simple warning to dog owners as the warning was given to me by 2 vets and we experienced it. Given the proclivity of dogs to eat avocados it is knowledge shared with fellow fruit enthusiasts.

The above followup was added by Jack, Nipomo on August 04, 2009 at 1:02 pm PST.

Rodents immune

A couple of summers ago I was treated to the midday sight of a large, glossy coated rat carrying HALF an avocado in it's mouth and negotiating the neighbours concrete covered yard. The neighbours tree was loaded with fruit.

This muscular fellow was in great condition and while showing problems moving this standard sized fruit, it certainly wasn't displaying any signs of poisoning - unfortunately.

The above followup was added by Nigel(NZ) on August 04, 2009 at 9:05 pm PST.

Rats and mice, one reason I have cats in the yard

Rats and mice, one reason I have cats in the yard. Must be about a dozen cats, and neighbor cats area coming and going as well. My yard is full of fruit trees and potted plants, if they were not there, I know the cats and mice would be.

We used to have 80 plus year old neighbors with big dogs, who feed the dogs from a open hoper gravity feeder, and kept it full 24/7. And they had lots of past treasures of metal and wood everywhere, making it the idea home and free lunch for hundred if not thousands of rodents. But our cats kept them at bay, we never saw them, except for the pay toys they made out of the rats fur with the tails still attached. You could see the cats playing them them and throwing them up in air, and running to catch them again.

Luckily now we have new neighbors and they got rid of the free lunch and free home program.


The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on August 05, 2009 at 7:45 pm PST.

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